The third and final episode of “Porsche, Porsche, and more Porsche!” landed on the laps of PC players late last month. While console players continue to participate in the waiting game due to Microsoft’s and Sony’s lengthy approval processes, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to show off some of the contents of the final pack in Porsche’s current offerings to Assetto Corsa.
First up is the 917K, the one I’ve been looking forward to the most. Made into a movie star in 1971’s Le Mans starring the one and only Steve McQueen, and renown for giving the Stuttgart brand its first overall victories at Le Mans. The last time the shorttail variant was seen in the world of video games was in the 2000’s Need For Speed: Porsche Unleashed; a name that takes on a whole new meaning now that the EA exclusivity deal is finally dead.
If there were just one word I would use to describe this machine it would certainly be “daring.” While the 917/30 and 935/78 ‘Moby Dick’ featured previously required a cautious approach, the 917K dares you to approach corners carrying nerve-bending speeds; it dares you to dance that fine line between being courageous and diving front-first into an armco barrier. As a machine put together in the 70’s it performs more like a modern day prototype – it feels that nuanced.
Easy to get along with, it only felt natural to pair it alongside the technical Red Bull Ring. As mentioned previously, one may expect the 917K to feel like a relic going around a technical track such as this one, but the fact of the matter is it doesn’t. The only real issue is carrying too much speed into a corner and running wide, clipping the rumble strip or kicking up some kitty litter along the way.
Next on the list is the 908 LH, and while this is a much different machine altogether, it isn’t an entirely radical departure. Where the 917K can be aggressive, the 908 requires a bit more finesse; attacking a corner without a little more care guarantees the rear end being unsettled.
That isn’t to say the Langheck (German for longtail) is as much of a handful as the 935/78, as the learning curve isn’t nearly as steep. While the differences between it and the 917K become apparent the second you approach the inside of the very first corner, the 908 is a fairly adaptive machine once the treads have been properly heated.
I largely played it safe during the series of laps ran at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and I will readily admit that I didn’t give the aging chassis more credit. While it feels a tad bit squirmish under braking it’s easily controlled, and can make short work of most fast corners. While I could have gone much faster with another lap, the 908 LH just doesn’t fit my driving style. It’s proven to be a thrilling ride, but at the end of the day it doesn’t having the daring personality of the Le Mans-winning 917K.
The 911 GT3 R is a bonus, but let’s not mince any words here: going from two classic machines to a comparative modern day marvel is jarring in just about every way possible, and I believe that will come across without issue.
It would be easy to say “I took the GT3 R’s aerodynamics for granted,” but the fact of the matter is after driving both the 917K and 908 LH for as long as I had, I’d simply forgotten how sharp a modern day racer could be, and the GT3 R is exactly that: sharp. While the lap is in no way a disaster, I was a little careless in a couple of braking zones, though I was genuinely surprised at running wide through turn 18.
By contrast, the GT3 R is a jolting shock that easily translates into how far motorsport has come. The 917K may have a daredevil personality, but the GT3 R is commanding in such a way that it will punish the player for not carving through a bend. All three of the cars have one thing in common: they’re unapologetic.
Assetto Corsa is now available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. PC players have access to all three Porsche Pack Volumes, while console gamers can expect the second one to land next week, alongside the Italian-themed Red Pack.